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Adriana Miranda – More Convenient
Online education has provided many students with access to a more convenient and affordable means of study. Many people who want to attain degrees, but simply do not have the time to sit in a classroom, can now study in the comfort of their own homes, on their own time, at their own pace. Online education has its many benefits such as lower prices, at-home study and a flexible degree plan, but it also has some drawbacks such as communication barriers, distractions and technical difficulties.
Since the traditional educational models are transforming into online based instructions, students have lost a lot of communication with their professors. In a typical college setting, professors have office hours, which is a designated time to visit with a professor and talk about any assignments one might have. If a student were to take an online class, he or she would have to rely on communication through emails, which is not as personal as face-to-face communication.
Online assignments may also provide distractions to the student. Since these students are spending most of their time on the computer, they are putting themselves at risk of online distractions and time-wasters. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, all pose a threat to a student who is just trying to get his or her work done.
Another factor that can affect an online student is technical difficulties. When it comes to submitting assignments on educational technologies such as Blackboard, there is always a risk for a glitch or malfunction in the system. In my personal experience, I took ECON 2301 through a local community college during my senior year of high school. We submitted our assignments and took our weekly quizzes on Blackboard. Almost every week, there would be a problem with submitting our quiz and a student had to contact the professor in order to retake it. I never had an issue with Blackboard until we had to take our final exam. I was only two questions into the final when Blackboard automatically submitted my test, causing me to receive a 10% as my final grade. I had to contact my professor and ask for a redo, hoping she would consider it. Turns out, there were several people across all of her ECON 2301 classes that had issues with Blackboard. Our professor ended up opening the exam back up for everyone to retake and submit again.
These kinds of problems make online education difficult for some. Since online education is taking many factors of the classroom away, students will lose the feel of a typical college setting. One might not be able to go to the library to study with classmates, since these classmates could possibly be all over the country. Also, contacting a professor might be difficult because there is no designated time for your professor to ever respond.
Ultimately, it depends on the student's circumstances and preferences whether or not he or she should take online classes. Some students might have an inhibiting circumstance that prevents them from attaining a degree at an actual college or university. Others might not prefer the classroom setting and would rather do work from the comfort of their own home. Regardless of the situation, any student will benefit from online or in a classroom, so long as he or she is still receiving an education.